You can download our Advocacy leaflet here, or read more below.
What is psychosocial support for children?
All children have material needs such as food, shelter, health care and education. But children also have the right to be cared for, loved, and protected.
Psychosocial support is ensuring that children have love, care and protection. It is support for the emotional and social aspects of a child’s life, so that they can live with hope and dignity.
Why is psychosocial support important?
Psychosocial support is the right of every child.
Children and youth exposed to the devastating effects of poverty, conflict, HIV and AIDS are especially entitled to care for their emotional and social (psychosocial) wellbeing. Many have lost parents and family, experienced deprivation and abuse, been stigmatized, witnessed atrocities, and suffered overwhelming grief.
This generation of children will soon be leading our countries and our communities. They need the right support if they are to grow into capable and compassionate adults, and active citizens engaged in their communities.
How can we provide psychosocial support?
Psychosocial support includes:
- ensuring the meaningful participation of children in issues affecting them
- listening and responding to children’s problems
- allowing children to express their feelings and needs
- helping children to appreciate their history and identity
- encouraging children to set goals and reach their potential
- ensuring that children have positive, nurturing relationships and connections in their lives
- Providing life skills for children and youth
- Providing children with safe spaces to play
Psychosocial support is best provided by families and communities. We can strengthen the ability of families and communities to provide love, care and protection for their children.
All services for children (for example: education, health, humanitarian support in emergencies) should be delivered in a way that takes account of their psychosocial wellbeing.
What can we do?
- We can plan for the wellbeing of our children, by providing laws, policies, programmes and activities.
- We can commit resources to ensuring the wellbeing of our children.
- We can prioritize children’s rights in the work that we do.
- We can ensure children’s participation in all levels of society.
Investing in psychosocial support is an investment in our shared future. Let’s work together to develop healthy, capable and secure citizens who are able to control their future, and make positive contributions to society.
What does REPSSI do to help?
Our assistance includes providing easy-to-use and culturally appropriate tools, and sharing innovative approaches. We train partners to provide social and emotional services to children and their communities, and we produce activities and tools that can be used with children, youth, communities and families.